I had the pleasure of attending scores of shows in St. Louis this past year. Here are my top picks for the best shows of 2014.
Jazz is considered to be a true American art form, but when mixed with Afro-Cuban influences and Latin heritage, it has grown into a melange of worldly music shared across borders, continents and cultures.
In the spirit of jazz, Wednesday night at the Ferring Jazz Bistro proved to be a night of adaptation and perseverance.
There are many new aspects of Jazz St. Louis’ newly renovated Harold Jazz Center, but one of the finest additions turns out to be something old. Rich McDonnell, founding board member and longtime supporter of jazz, was lost this past year, and the Ferring Jazz Bistro has the honor of housing his classic, Hammond B-3 organ, one of the most renowned instruments in jazz.
Even before the musicians emerged from the green room, the stage told a story of creativity and modern experimentation. At the forefront sat Jeff Coffin's trio of saxophones and flute beside Bill Fanning's trumpet, each accompanied by a board of effects pedals and other toys generally belonging to electric guitarists and bassists.
It was a remarkably quiet night in midtown without the typical competition from the neighborhoods bounty of venues and arts attraction, but the Ferring Jazz Bistro was full of life and eager fans of the Joshua Redman Trio.
The newly renovated and expanded Ferring Jazz Bistro offers an amply wide stage, but the John Pizzarelli Quartet opted to set up huddled together in the middle, staying within a whispers reach of the band leader at the front of the stage.
Enthralled with roots culture and ardently passionate about music, Groundation's Harrison Stafford epitomizes the progressive master of reggae.
The difference between legend and legacy can seem muddled to a few, but ultimately, many realize that it's marked by a single concept, impact. While many would consider Stanley Clarke to be a living legend in the world of jazz and the bass, his appearance at the helm of Stanley Clarke Band at the Pageant on Tuesday night illustrated more than simply his prowess as a musician, but also the lasting effect he has on the youth that join him on stage and nearly every modern jazz musician that has risen through the ranks. With over four decades of experience, Clarke's discography depicts the changing face of jazz while his energy mobilizes its future.